Knock knock! Who’s there? 2nd wave COVID19 and it’s not a joke!
There is a lot of talk about the feared second wave of COVID-19. Only a few weeks ago it was still feared that the second wave might come around the annual flue season. Conditions might start to improve for the virus around October this year and kicking of a spread. Dangerous because many people suffer under weakened immune systems and health issues during flu season and winter.
A look at the number of daily infections published by Johns Hopkins University (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html) shows that there is no need to wait for the second wave of COVID-19. It is already here! Well, it is the first wave that is still pushing forward throughout the global population but after so many have declared the pandemic “under control” and decided to open up again, the second wave of the first wave started.
We see several countries pushing forward the drive to reopen although the virus is still spreading and it seems to be that these countries were also the ones that responded relatively late and kept focusing on downplaying the devastating impact of the pandemic.
Boris Johnson had his “moment of fame” by declaring that his experts were telling him to let the virus move through the population in one big wave, or “take it up the chin” as he expressed it. Donald Trump was kind of hoping for a miracle to make it go away all by itself and even said that out loud on several occasion. Jair Bolsonaro made wonderful mix of Boris & Donald and added his own “magic” to ignore a lethal pandemic ravaging the population of Brazil.
Lead by example and follow the leader come into play in full force. When the “man in charge” says “it ain’t that bad”, can we really blame their followers to follow their lead? Can we expect the population of a country to take measures to which the elected leader of that country is publicly objecting or even ridiculing them like Donald Trump does with the advice to wear a mask in public places? Can we expect the British people to have taken COVID19 serious when Boris Johnson only days before he was infected himself preached “I shake hands with everybody”?
This pandemic shows that we either have great leadership or not, and the devastating infection rates in some countries make clear which of us do not enjoy the pleasure of living in a country with great leadership. And even with good leadership and even more so without good leadership, we have to take our own responsibility in protecting others and ourselves against this lethal virus. It isn’t that difficult, we just have to do it!
- Washing hands with soap and water!
- Keep social distance! Although the rules vary, keeping 1.5 meter distance seems to be the smart thing to do.
- Wear a mask in public places! Science is clear on how this simple step slows down the risk of spreading the virus when you are infected.
- Protect the elderly and the weak, especially those with underlying health conditions.
Especially protecting those with underlying health conditions is important and I can not stress that enough. A dear and long time friend passed away recently after recovering from COVID19 but the damage on top of his underlying health conditions weakened him too much.
Countries must take the following steps in case they haven’t done so yet, and keep doing so until this is really over.
- Testing, testing, testing, testing, testing!
- Contact Tracing with direct follow-up to confirmed infections.
- Provide healthcare to those who need it, not just to those who can afford it.
- LISTEN TO THE SCIENCE!
The core message in this all is not just to protect yourself but far more than that, protect others. The people around you, the people you love, the people who depend on you, the people who you will miss when they are gone, and the people who will miss you when you are gone. Yes, even protect people you don’t even know!